Qualcomm Sampling ARM-Based Server Chip With Businesses
Mellanox will bring Ethernet and InfiniBand interconnect technologies to the SoC to optimize it for scalable server and storage infrastructures. The demonstration Qualcomm ran in San Francisco featured the SDP running Linux kernel version 4.2, KVM virtualization, OpenStack DevStack for OpenStack cloud orchestration, and guest virtual machines, which were running a standard Linux distribution as well as Apache Web server and WordPress. The trend toward cloud computing is driving interest in low-power processor platforms, which ARM and its chip-making partners are looking to address. Hewlett-Packard is offering some of its low-power Moonshot systems with ARM-based SoCs, and Dell can build ARM-based systems when requested. Supercomputer maker Cray and Lenovo also are looking at ARM-based chips for some systems. Some Web-scale vendors, including PayPal and Chinese search engine Baidu, are testing ARM-based systems for their environments. In addition, major Web companies such as Google and Facebook—which build their own highly efficient systems that run open-source software like Linux—are willing to try data center technologies that are not made by top-tier vendors like Intel and Cisco. The 35-member Linaro group was launched in 2010 to help build a software ecosystem to support Linux-based systems running on ARM processors.
Still, ARM and the chip makers face a formidable rival in Intel’s Data Center Group, which generated $3.85 billion in revenue in the second quarter and is driving performance and power efficiency improvements in its x86-based Xeon and Atom chips.